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The fruit of the willow,1 before it arrives at maturity, is covered with a down like a spider's web: gathered2 before it is ripe, it arrests discharges of blood from the mouth. The bark of the upper branches, reduced to ashes and mixed with water, is curative of corns and callosities: it removes spots also upon the face, being still more efficacious for that purpose if mixed with the juices of the tree.

The juices produced by the willow form three different varieties; one3 of which exudes in the shape of a gum from the tree itself, and another distils from an incision some three fingers in width, made in the bark while the tree is in blossom. This last is very useful for dispersing humours which impede the sight, acting also as an inspissative when needed, promoting the discharge of the urine, and bringing abscesses of all kinds to a head. The third kind of juice exudes from the wounds, when the branches are lopt off with the bill. Either of these juices, warmed in a pomegranate rind, is used as an injection for diseases of the ears. The leaves, too, boiled and beaten up with wax, are employed as a liniment for similar purposes, and for gout. The bark and leaves, boiled in wine, form a decoction that is remarkably useful as a fomentation for affections of the sinews. The blossoms, bruised with the leaves, remove scaly eruptions of the face; and the leaves, bruised and taken in drink, check libidinous tendencies,4 and effectually put an end to them, if habitually employed.

The seed of the black willow of Ameria,5 mixed with litharge in equal proportions, and applied to the body just after the bath, acts as a depilatory.

1 See B. xvi. c. 68.

2 Neither this downy substance nor the seeds are now employed for any purpose. The bark of the willow has some strongly-pronounced properties, but all other parts of it are totally inert.

3 A kind of manna, Fée says. The other juices here mentioned are secreted from the sap.

4 The leaves have no effect whatever as an antaphrodisiac.

5 See B. xvi. c. 69.

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